Close Up: Modern Sound Productions


The story behind Modern Sound Productions, a dynamic and multi-faceted state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio in Camarillo, CA, starts with a couple of Feisty Piranhas—an aerospace engineer (and accomplished drummer) Peter Lust Sr. and his son, multi-talented songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Peter Alexander Lust III.

In the early 2000s, when Peter Alex was just 13, the Lusts launched the indie rock band the Feisty Piranhas, which have gone on to record five albums and three live DVDs chronicling their live performances with different musicians throughout the years. FP have gigged at The Roxy, Whisky, Ventura Theatre, Key Club and Canyon Club, playing with bands such as Misfits, Blue Oyster Cult, Dragonforce, the DIKKIES and many more. Their latest CD features guest spots by El Hefe from NOFX and Dave Nassie, former guitarist for No Use For A Name.

The studio the Lusts built on their property to record Feisty Piranhas projects has evolved naturally into a facility whose sonic capabilities have made it popular with artists, bands and musicians from a wide range of genres (punk, metal, hip-hop, jazz, string quartets, brass sections). The studio—recently renamed Modern Sound Productions—has also been used for video productions, including music instructional videos. Expanding its scope, Modern Sound has done voiceovers, radio advertisements, commercials and audio production used for iPhone apps (for MISO Media sponsored by Fender Guitars that helps people learn to play).

Explaining the unique construction of the studio, the elder Lust says, “The studio is a 3,500 sq. ft. state-of-the-art music facility featuring a 1,500 sq. ft. live room which doubles as a rehearsal and tracking room, a 1,000 sq. ft. control room with wide screen TVs and comfortable couches, and a professional Pro Tools board that runs everything. We also have two iso booths for recording vocals, and another booth dedicated to guitar amps. So when we’re recording, we can have multiple things going on at the same time. Each input is separate and we have complete control over each one without them mixing together.

“The studio is a double house construction, meaning it’s a building built inside a building,” he adds. “As a result of that, a large air gap exists between the two structures which helps with the sound inside the structure. There are six to seven layers of drywall, a sound board and Auralex sound block, which is lead rubber based material inserted into the walls. There is also an isolation bay built into the concrete floor, so the center of the floor ‘floats’ to prevent outside sounds from vibrating into the room and visa versa.”

While the main focus of Modern Sound Productions is audio, the studio has full capability to do high-definition video production and editing, including four HD cameras, a large camera jib (a rig that rises 20 feet allowing for the complete control of the cameras), and the ability to have video rolling for clients who want to capture the experience for any reason, private or commercial. The Pro Tools rig has the capability to record up to 72 inputs at any time, which translates to recordings featuring a virtually limitless number of tracks; one song on the Feisty Piranhas’ latest project has over 150 tracks of audio. Every activity is projected onto large screen TVs so anyone in the control room or other rooms can see what’s going on and observe the editing process.

For musicians arriving from far distances and not wanting to lug their gear, Modern Sound Productions offers an array of equipment and instruments, including drums (three full kits plus the tools to build more), MINARIK, Fender and Gibson guitars (a total of 50) and amps. Aside from the occasional ocean breeze and being miles from the zaniness of Los Angeles, key elements of the comfortable aesthetic environment include a living room, office area, outdoor patio and basketball court.

Contact Modern Sound Productions, 805-312-4999

By Jonathan Widran